Home » Credit Card Reviews » Virgin Atlantic Mastercard Review

Virgin Atlantic Mastercard Review

Virgin Atlantic Mastercard Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Oct 16, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

The information related to the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

If you’re looking for an airline card that offers a great rewards rate for each $1 you spend, and you’re willing to put up with high fees associated with redeeming miles for airfare, you might like the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® — especially if you spend enough on the card annually to take advantage of the several opportunities it gives you to earn bonus miles.

In this article:

Where the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® stands out

High rewards rate. Earn 3 miles per $1 spent directly on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all other purchases with no limit to the number of miles you can earn. This is a higher rate than many other airline cards, which may only offer 2X miles on airline-specific purchases and 1 mile per $1 spent on other purchases.

Ways to redeem miles include:

  • Booking a flight (or using cash and points to pay for a flight)
  • Transferring miles to someone else as a gift
  • Booking a chauffeur
  • Getting a spa treatment at Flying Club’s Gatwick and Heathrow Clubhouses
  • Transferring your miles to spending partners, such as airlines and hotels

Though Virgin Atlantic has a more limited set of destinations than larger airline brands, a “joint venture” partnership with Delta adds more value to your Flying Club miles. You can spend and earn miles on Delta flights the same as you can on Virgin Airlines flights.

Generous sign-up bonus. Earn 60,000 Flying Club bonus miles after spending $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Anniversary bonus. Cardholders earn up to 15,000 bonus miles every anniversary year after qualifying purchases are made with the card — the first 7,500 when you spend at least $15,000 on purchases within the specified time frame and 7,500 more when you reach $25,000 spent on purchases within the time frame.

Bonus for adding authorized users. Earn up to 5,000 bonus miles for adding two additional cardholders (2,500 per authorized user).

Chance to get a companion ticket. Cardholders have the chance to get a Premium upgrade or a companion ticket after spending $25,000 or more on purchases annually (calculated in an account anniversary year, not a calendar year).

Additional benefits

No foreign transaction fee. This card is a solid choice when traveling outside the United States. Don’t worry about paying an additional fee on each purchase you make — the foreign transaction fee on the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® is none.

Earn tier points. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club offers three membership tiers. Earning tier points lets you move up the membership tiers, earn more miles on Virgin Atlantic flights and get access to additional perks. These are the tiers:

  • Red. This is the basic tier you get by joining Flying Club.
  • Silver. You need 400 tier points to get this. It comes with perks including 30% miles on flights, Premium check-in, and free seat assignment in economy light.
  • Gold. You need 1,000 tier points to get this. It comes with perks including 60% more miles on flights, Upper Class check-in, extra luggage allowance no matter which cabin you fly in and lounge access.

When you use the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®, you’ve got an opportunity to earn 25 tier points per $2,500 in purchases, up to a maximum of 50 tier points per month. (The other way to earn tier points is to fly on Virgin Atlantic flights. You can earn from 25 to 200 points for a one-way flight, depending on how you fly.)

Where the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® falls short

Taxes, fees and surcharges. These charges start at $205 and go up from there. For example, flying round trip from the United Kingdom (Virgin Airlines is U.K.-based) to Atlanta in economy Classic will come with a charge of $435 in addition to the 30,000 miles you have to redeem for the flight. That’s during the airline’s standard season flying dates — peak season flights can be more costly both in dollars and redemption miles.

Compare it with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.

  • 2X Miles on Delta Purchases*

  • Check your 1st bag free on every Delta flight*

Highlights
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 miles on every eligible dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.
  • Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights – that’s a savings of up to $240 for a family of 4 roundtrip.
  • Receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

More Info

If you’re looking for an airline card without all high surcharges, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is worth consideration. The two cards have comparable annual fees, and the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express has good rewards and perks if you frequently find yourself on Delta flights.

Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
Welcome offer 60,000 Flying Club bonus miles after spending $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening 30,000 bonus miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
Rewards Earn 3 miles per $1 spent directly on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all other purchases with no limit to the number of miles you can earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
Foreign transaction fee None None
Annual fee $90 $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Regular purchase APR 16.74% to 24.74% variable 17.24%-26.24% Variable

Useful perks on the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express include your first checked bag free and a 20% savings on eligible Delta in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit.

It’s worth noting, though, that the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® offers a higher rewards earning rate.

The bottom line

The ongoing rewards on the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® are pretty good, and if you spend at least $25,000 on qualifying purchases each account anniversary year, you have the opportunity to get good value in the form of bonus miles and a companion ticket (or a Premium upgrade).

Plus, the ability to redeem miles with partners, such as Delta, make this card worth more than it would otherwise be.

However, redeeming your miles can come with heavier-than-expected costs in the form of taxes, fees and surcharges.

For those considering other options, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is an airline card with much to offer. Or, for travel cards with more flexibility, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card are competitive options.

  • 60,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on travel and dining

  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

More Info

  • One-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel

  • 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

  • Earn unlimited 10x miles on hotels when you pay with your Venture card at hotels.com/venture

Highlights
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named 'The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

See additional details for Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

More Info


Recommended Posts:

Read More

Lexus Pursuits Visa Review

If you’d like to offset the cost of pricey oil changes on your Lexus or, say, a set of new tires, the Lexus Pursuits Visa® can help. The Lexus Pursuits Visa® provides a rewards program tailored to spending at Lexus dealerships, allowing those purchases to earn 5 points per dollar spent. This can help loyal Lexus customers earn more […]

Read More